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I was "that guy."

September 26th, 2007, 07:10 PM
You know that guy at the park or the vet's office who can't control his dog? That was me today.

Rio had has yearly shots at the vets today. He was doing alright, but a big (and beautiful looking) male husky came in the waiting area and Rio just started howling at the top of his lungs. None of what I had learned at OB classes with my parent's yorkies seemed to work (admittedly, those classes were a few years a go and we didn't really address the same problems I have with Rio). I felt completely out of my depth - I couldn't even get him to stop howling for about 10 minutes! He listens to me pretty well at home (I know some things need work). He gets most tricks so easily, I'm sure he's a smart dog. To be honest, I think I need the classes again, for me more than for him.

We've been going to a really dog-populated park every other day for a while now, and he seems pretty good with the dogs (he's had aggressive issues in the past with dogs). I guess I thought I was correcting the problem better than I actually was.

Last week we registered for OB classes. The 15th can't come soon enough! (Now I'm cursing myself for putting it off this many months!)

September 26th, 2007, 09:37 PM
Good for you ~ if nothing else you'll regain your self-confidence as a leader and teacher. And hopefully, you'll remember some of the "tricks of the trade" you've forgotten over the years. Keep us posted on your OB training adventures !

September 26th, 2007, 10:52 PM
Maybe it was because Rio was a little stressed about being at the vet. :shrug: I'm glad your continuing with the OB lessons if we could only convince one of the other members here. :fingerscr

Ford Girl
September 27th, 2007, 11:58 AM
Maybe it was because Rio was a little stressed about being at the vet. :shrug: I'm glad your continuing with the OB lessons if we could only convince one of the other members here. :fingerscr

I second this, when they get stressed out they howl, pant, wiggle around, whimper, cry, pace...basically go nuts...the more you talk to him, try to calm him down it, pet him, it's ok its ok, it reinforces the behavior - which is hyper nervousness. What did you try to do when he started howling? Did he show you signs before it got to that point? Just courios. :shrug:

You will enjoy the class as much as he will. Keep us posted, oh, and post some new pics!!!! :cloud9:

September 27th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Responsible people like you are such a welcome addition to the pet owners of the world club. You are certainly not dragging your feet about seeking out a class to help you get back into the drivers seat. Good for you:thumbs up

September 27th, 2007, 06:11 PM
I'll tell you, after we got back from the vet I was exhausted! I still can't believe how much that took out of me - I guess I don't deal with new situations any better than Rio does.

When Rio started howling, I tried getting his attention and giving him commands (starting with "look at me" and sit, down, shake, etc.) He did them, not nearly as well as otherwise, but he still howled while doing them! Any suggestions on how I should have handled it? (I know the classes should address this, but I respect the opinions of this board a lot.) He's show signs of this at parks when we're just sitting and another dog or two walks really close. When we're walking, though, he doesn't seem to act up when he's close to other strange dogs.

He's a little wild with new people - I have to remind him not to jump up - and does have some dog aggression issues, but like I said earlier, I guess I didn't realize what extent they went to. The vet seemed to get a kick out of his excitement to see her though (he wasn't really that bad with her, he just let out a funny "woo-woo-woo" when she was half way out the door).

I'll be sure to post an update after some of the training classes - I'm incredibly nervous about the first few of them!

Edit: Here's some pictures. I hope it's alright to add them in the thread. Yes, those are my old roommate's underwear that he's resting his head on... can just barely see the hole he chewed in the chair. He's only allowed on one chair now (which he never chews) - I was actually surprised how easily he learned that! best dog buddy (she and her owner moved, but they get to see each other about once a month).

September 27th, 2007, 07:33 PM
First off what a cutie!

IMO - The distraction level was at an exceptionally high level and perhaps Rio listens best at at low to medium distraction levels. You may need to work on slowly increasing the distraction levels and you remaining the center of that world at all times. Surely this is easier said than done, but with practise and OB classes it's totally doable.

Secondly, more pics please. :)


September 27th, 2007, 08:00 PM
Rio is a very good looking dog, cutie for sure. I love his coloring.
I'm sure your training classes will be just fine. You seem to have determination and that is going to take you far with helping Rio become more settled in high stress situations. Good luck, but really, you'll be fine.

September 28th, 2007, 12:20 AM
Rio is one good looking boy :lovestruck: and, I wouldn't have known they were undies if you didn't tell us. :D

I wouldn't worry about the episode at the vet as lots of dogs react that way there. ;) Glad you are still going to OB classes though and looking forward to your update. :pawprint:

October 1st, 2007, 08:03 AM
Great pics....what a cute dog. What breed is he? I wouldn't worry about the vet either. I know what you mean though.....I've had those experiences with my GSD and they are EXHAUSTING. It sounds like you did just the right thing though. My younger GSD used to get really anxious at parts of a training program we were in and would whine like crazy. It was tough because I didn't want to pet him and reinforce the behavior. Our lead trainer told me not to correct him either, because it would just make the anxiety worse. He basically told me just to take him off the field if it continued at certain points. I've done that with my older GSD at the vet a couple times too. Usually it's just aggression with her and I can catch it before it starts now....but sometimes she's just way too anxious. I've walked her out of the office before to get her mind off it, then back in. Otherwise I usually do the same thing though. I bring a favorite training toy and have her do obedience exercises for me. I've also taught both my dogs a "quiet" command. If the anxiety is way too high, it doesn't always work....but most of the time it helps. The only problem then is that the vet tech's think she's so cute that they want to pet her and oooh and aaaah while saying her name.....which sends her into orbit and the barking begins (she doesn't like other people saying her name in those settings...or anyone else petting her :rolleyes: )

October 2nd, 2007, 08:02 PM
It's a little comforting to know that other people have experienced similar things. One guy in the waiting room kept looking at me with a rather annoyed glare. Oh, well. I'm sure it will be discussed during classes.

As for Rio's breed, I call him a Huskador Retriever. I know he's got husky in him. Most people tell me they think Husky/Lab. I'm terrible when it comes to figuring breeds, though.

October 2nd, 2007, 08:58 PM
Hey ! I would have been here earlier if I knew there was pics !!! :D Rio is adorable !

October 5th, 2007, 08:32 PM
Aha.....I can see the husky/lab...makes sense.....he's beautiful :thumbs up ......Oops...I mean he's very handsome (I've been told handsome is more appropriate for the boys) :D